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The ocean in Northern California is home to an incredible diversity of fish and marine life.


Of course, some fish are tastier or prettier or more fun to target than others.

Here is a video I made showing some examples of seven of my favorite NorCal fish species taken between 2014 and 2016 while diving off my Jackson Kayak Kraken. Species shown are Lingcod, Cabezon, Halibut, Striped Bass, Sheephead, Vermilion and Olive Rockfish.

Lingcod are voracious predators, grow to impressive sizes, and make excellent table fare.


Cabezon are masters of camouflage and can often be found hiding in plain sight amongst the algae.


Halibut are one of the more prized fish around, and it is always a treat when you find one buried in the sand.


Striped Bass have been legal to spear in the ocean since 2013, and are a definite challenge to hunt in the churned up surf zone.


Sheephead are much more common in Southern California, but there are isolated populations up here in Monterey and Santa Cruz county.


Vermilion Rockfish are beautiful bright red fish that are often found at greater depths.


Olive Rockfish are often found hiding amongst schools of blue rockfish (as shown in the picture at the beginning of this post), or in and around kelp stalks, and are a lot of fun to hunt.

Thanks for looking!